Two of Antarctica’s most important glaciers are breaking free from their restraints, a new study reports.
This potentially has major consequences for rising sea levels around the world.
The Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, which sit side-by-side in West Antarctica on the Amundsen Sea, are among the fastest-changing glaciers in the region, already accounting for 5% of global sea-level rise, CNN said.
The Thwaites glacier is of particular concern: The loss of the glacier could trigger the broader collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which contains enough ice to eventually raise seas by about 10 feet, the Washington Post said.
In the study, researchers combined satellite imagery from various sources to gain a more accurate picture of the rapid development of damage to portions of the ice shelves of Pine Island and Thwaites.
Ice shelves are permanent floating sheets of ice that connect to a landmass, such as Antarctica, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Ice shelves are the gatekeepers for glaciers flowing from Antarctica toward the ocean, according to NASA. Without them, glacial ice enters the ocean faster and accelerates the pace of global sea-level rise.
According to the study, the damage consists of crevasses and fractures in the glaciers, the first signs of the weakening process. Modeling has revealed that the emergence of this kind of damage initiates a feedback process that accelerates the formation of even more fractures and weakening.
More: Greenland and Antarctica are now melting six times faster than in the 1990s, accelerating sea-level rise
“We already knew that these were glaciers that might matter in the future, but these images to me indicate that these ice shelves are in a very bad state,” study lead author Stef Lhermitte of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands told the Washington Post.
“We knew they were sleeping giants and these were the ones losing a lot of miles (of ice), but how far and how much still remains a large uncertainty,” Lhermitte said to CNN. “These ice shelves are in the early phase of disintegration, they’re starting to tear apart.”
More: Antarctica’s new record high temperature: Is it climate change?
By the end of the century, global sea level is likely to rise at least one foot above 2000 levels, even if greenhouse gas emissions follow a relatively low pathway in coming decades, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
How much it will rise depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.
The ice shelf study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Antarctic Ice shelves propping up two major glaciers are breaking up
Geneva introduces world’s highest minimum wage of £3,500 per month
Geneva is to introduce a minimum monthly wage of nearly £3,500, the highest in the world, in response to growing poverty since the coronavirus outbreak.
Geneva has been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic because it relies on revenue from tourists and business visitors. At the height of the coronavirus crisis, queues more than half a mile long formed at food banks.
The canton’s 500,000 voters approved the minimum wage, proposed by Left-wing parties, by a 58-per-cent majority in a referendum, after rejecting it twice in 2014 and 2011.
The measure will benefit some 30,000 low-paid workers, two-thirds of them women, many employed as cleaners or in restaurants or hairdressers. More than 300,000 of Switzerland’s workers live in neighbouring France, where costs are lower. Most commute to jobs in the Geneva canton, or region.
Michel Charrat of the European Cross-Border Group, which supports cross-border workers, told France 3 television that the vote result marked a “movement of solidarity” with the poor that would help “restore a certain balance among the people of Greater Geneva”.
From October 17, the minimum hourly wage will be 23 Swiss francs (almost £19.50), more than double the rate in neighbouring France or in the UK. It also exceeds the world’s current highest minimum wage of over £11 per hour in Australia. The guaranteed minimum monthly salary in Geneva for a 41-hour week will be 4,086 Swiss francs (£3,437).
Mr Charrat said: “Covid showed that a certain section of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva… 4,000 Swiss francs a month (£3,362) is the minimum to stay above the poverty line.” Rents in Geneva are often more than 2,000 Swiss francs a month, he added.
Switzerland has Europe’s highest average annual wage of more than £57,000, compared to nearly £35,500 in the UK, but the prosperous Alpine country sets no national minimum wage.
Geneva will be the third Swiss canton to adopt one. Jura and Neuchâtel have both introduced a minimum hourly wage of 20 Swiss francs (£16.85).
Geneva is rated the world’s tenth most expensive city, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2020 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, with Paris in fifth place. London is not among the 10 costliest cities in the survey.
According to another cost-of-living index compiled by Expatistan, Geneva is the world’s second most expensive city. It rates London ninth.
Switzerland sets no national minimum wage and Geneva will be the third Swiss canton to adopt one. Jura and Neuchâtel have both introduced a minimum hourly wage of 20 Swiss francs (£16.85).
Left-wing parties in Switzerland argue that introducing a minimum wage is a better way to address the rising cost of living than limiting immigration from EU member-states, as proposed by Right-wingers. They argue that immigrant workers have pushed up housing costs and lowered wages.
But Swiss voters rejected a proposal to end free movement from EU member-states in a national referendum on Sunday.
Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones are on sale at Amazon
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Rich audio and long battery life
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“These are the best Beats so far. They sound very good and less bass heavy than previous models. Sound is really crisp,” wrote a delighted five-star reviewer. “Very worth it. The Noise Canceling feature is so good. You basically cannot hear anything around you!”
The Beats have up to a whopping 40 hours of battery life per charge, which means you don’t have to be tethered to a wall outlet all day long. In fact, they pump out a solid stream of music with top-notch audio for nearly two days. This is pretty impressive, considering that most wireless headphones tap out after about 30 hours.
If you’re an iPhone user, you can pair your iOS device automatically with the tech giant’s built-in H1 technology for instant sync. This is the same technology that instantly syncs AirPods to mobile devices. And Apple’s voice assistant Siri is included with these noise-canceling babies!
“Siri works really well,” shared a satisfied shopper. “Saying ‘Hey Siri’ will immediately lower the volume (so you know the command was heard) and within a second Siri will answer or execute a command, then the music will resume at normal volume.”
An adjustable fit and cushioned ear cups make these premium wireless headphones comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Plus, they come with a Lightning to USB-A charging cable and handy carrying case, so your headphones won’t get scratched or damaged when not in use.
Not convinced? Perhaps this five-star reviewer put it best: “The Beats Solo Pro are absolutely phenomenal!”
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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Trump admin's Operation Warp Speed is proving to be 'extraordinarily effective': Fmr. FDA & CDC adviser
Dr. Roger Klein, Fmr. Adviser to the FDA & CDC joins Yahoo Finance’s Zack Guzman to discuss the latest coronavirus developments, as Moderna shares climb on positive vaccine news.
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